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New ticket policy could make it harder for Leafs fans to cheer on their team in Buffalo

There might be fewer Toronto Maple Leaf fans inside the Keybank Centre in Buffalo when the team makes its twice-annual trip down the Queen Elizabeth Way this year.

At least that is the hope behind a new ticket sales policy the Sabres are in the midst of finalizing for this coming season.

The policy, which would involve the introduction of a new pre-sale for fans with local zip codes, was first reported by the Buffalo News.

A spokesperson for the Sabres has since told CTV News Toronto that it is “one of the ways we’re looking to get more Sabres fans in the building this season,” though he would not provide further details since the policy has not yet been formally announced.

Leafs fans, it should be noted, have a longstanding tradition of filling the Keybank Centre when the club takes on the Sabres, in many cases taking advantage of the cheaper ticket prices in Buffalo.

The Sabres spokesperson that spoke to CTV News Toronto did not specifically say that limiting Leafs fans was a primary motivation behind the policy, however the Sabres Vice-President of Sales and Service Frank Batres-Landaeta did tell the Buffalo News that there were “a handful of games” last year where the club saw “the wrong colour blue” in the stands.

“It’s something that we’ve been talking about and discussing and trying to figure out: How do we get tickets in the hands of Buffalo fans?” Batres-Landaeta told the newspaper.

If the Sabres do limit ticket pre-sales to local residents, it won’t be the first time that Leafs fans had to get creative to cheer the team on in another arena.

Last year during the playoffs, the Florida Panthers limited the pre-sale for tickets to their second round series against the Leafs to U.S. fans only.

A large number of Leafs fans did, however, fill the fill building for what was the club’s first appearance in the second round since 2004.

The Leafs will visit Buffalo on Dec. 21 and March 30. Top Stories

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